The Tears I Had Shed

I spent the first four years of my life as a believer in a faith community that was focused on developing a personal relationship with Jesus. We studied the scriptures, spent hours in Hebrew studies, and I found a deep love and passion in my heart to know and understand God through His word. Yet, […]

Turning Compassion Inward

Amy sat with me on my screened porch at the lake, listening the way only a woman who has spent thirty years as a cloistered nun in a monastery, then three more years training to be a therapist, can listen. “You have compassion fatigue,” she said. “What?” I asked. “There’s an actual name for this? […]

Where Is Home To Me?

We cannot have reconciliation without first having truth. I. I climb back into my minivan, fumbling with my keys. My face is blazing, my breath coming in short bursts, fevered and sour on my tongue and in that moment I don’t know whether I want to explode in a stream of expletives or lay my […]

Being Ministered To on a Mission Trip

I woke up on a cot in the gymnasium with butterflies in my stomach. I’d brought a sleeping bag with the intent of sleeping on the hard floor, but after suffering from an awful case of indigestion, I was offered one of the few available cots. I seemed to be feeling back to normal, except […]

Go to Jail

Ten years ago, I sat around a table with a group of six girls, trying to teach them creative writing. We shared poetry, short stories, and personal memoirs. I wasn’t that much older than them, and yet our worlds were oceans apart. For we sat in the library of a local juvenile correctional facility, and […]

Social Justice is a Pot of Spaghetti Sauce

I didn’t want to write a post on social justice.  It feels fake sitting on my couch in my largely white, affluent, suburban neighborhood. What do I have to say? As a white woman, I feel like my steps at connection across lines—even on Facebook—feel privileged, bumbling, and awkward. I say the wrong things. I’m […]

Sometimes I Leave the Room

I can’t take it. I walk outside and text my husband to see when he would be back to pick me up. “Leaving now,” he writes. Soon, then. Thankfully. I don’t want to feel this way, like I have to leave a room when good, well-meaning people talk about people in poverty. I don’t want […]

When Compassion is Exhausting

The first year of giving a crap, that’s the exciting one. For me, it was back in 2009 and Twitter was a twinkly new toy and microgiving was a new buzzword and everyone had a birthday campaign. “This year for my birthday, all I want is clean water for a village, all I want is […]

Social Justice Looks Outward

               I saw a ‘wishing tree’ awhile ago, and I was thinking about this sentiment that was hanging on it. It’s a nice idea: love and peace, not war and hate. It’s a nice ideal, even. Something we should hold in the back of our heads as a reason for […]

When Caring for Others Hurts

For years I have struggled with what to do with the feelings of sadness and pain that I have collected over my lifetime from taking care of my child with cancer, adjusting to a failed marriage, and working as a nurse in a cancer center. When we care deeply for someone, we feel their pain […]

Social Justice Is Awkward

I wanna be Anne Lamott. And NOT JUST because she’s a kick-ass writer. No: I covet her social-justice-beatnik-political leftist-protesting mojo. Lamott grew up with parents heavily invested in social justice. Her father volunteered at prisons, her mother marched in protests. This crap comes naturally to her. JEALOUS. When Lamott had her own kid, one of her first acts […]